|Affiliation:||David Palmer's administration|
|Rank:||Special Assistant to the President|
|Played by:||Michelle Forbes|
|Stunt double:||Jennifer Caputo|
|First episode:||"Day 2: 8:00am-9:00am"|
|Last episode:||"Day 2: 3:00am-4:00am"|
Learning of the threat
As Palmer arrived in the sub-basement of the Northwest Regional Operations Complex, NSA Deputy Director Eric Rayburn began the conference with Lynne, heads of the military and other officials by stating that there was a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists on U.S. soil in Los Angeles. He said that the intel had been triple-sourced. Rayburn brought up images that Lynne Kresge recognised as being from the Valentine's Day bombing on the West Bank. Terrorist Mamud Rasheed Faheen was supposedly killed in the attacks but he had been spotted five days before and an associate - Jason Park - confessed that Faheen had a nuclear bomb and planned to use it. He explained that Faheen was led by a splinter group called Second Wave who were unofficially supported by a country in the Middle East. The prime minister of the country denied all support of the group. Rayburn suggested a nuclear response and a conference with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Palmer refused. Despite this, Rayburn organized the conference. Kresge informed Palmer of this, and he asked her to cancel it then angrily told Rayburn not to second guess him ("8:00am-9:00am").
Lynne informed Palmer that Quantico wanted permission to relay details of the nuclear threat to between six to seven hundred of their mid-level tacticians. Palmer said that that was only necessary if the people could contain the information. He told Lynne that he was just as concerned with the panic and hysteria associated with the threat, as he was about the threat itself. Lynne told Palmer that the NSA was trying to track down anyone associated with Second Wave as well as trying to source the stolen nuclear materials. She later told him that the press had begun to ask questions, and wanted to know why he cut his fishing trip short. She offered to get Jenny Dodge to deal with, but Palmer decided to do it himself. Rayburn questioned why Palmer would take time out to "coddle" the media rather than dealing with the situation, and Palmer reminded him of the seriousness of mass hysteria. Palmer returned to his office. Lynne approached and told him that Wieland had gained a ten minute live spot on national news after hearing that the alert level has changed. She suggested that he would "avoid the facts and present the rumour". After a moment's consideration, Palmer asked Lynne to set up a private interview with Wieland, but to ensure that noone knows. He also told her to bring Armus to the O.C. She looked shocked, but agreed ("9:00am-10:00am").
Before heading to a press conference, Kresge gave Palmer an updated damage projection from Rayburn. Palmer noticed that the casualty projections were higher, and she explained that the NSA believed that they were almost certainly dealing with a nuclear bomb. When Palmer was with the press corps, Lynne received a call from Jack Bauer, who was undercover with Eddie Grant. He told her that CTU's phone lines were down and that there would be an attack on the facility within the hour. He confirmed that it was not the nuke, and that there were three charges set to blow. Before he could say more, he was cut off. Lynne went to Rayburn with the intel, who understood that the terrorists wanted to cripple CTU's investigation to divert attention away from the main attack. However, he was resistant to tell CTU about the attack because it would blow Jack's cover. Lynne said that it was the President's decision, but Rayburn reminded her that he was busy with the media. While the President was away, he told her that it was his call. She stormed away and called Jenny Dodge, telling her that she had to urgently speak with the President. However a short while later Lynne noticed Jenny arriving in the O.C., telling Lynne that Palmer wanted to her to draft a statement anticipating the nuclear event. Lynne reminded her that she needed to urgently speak with Palmer. Jenny said that she had slipped him a note, and as soon as he could remove himself from the press conference he would call her ("10:00am-11:00am").
Lynne was talking angrily on the phone, saying that she was supposed to have been contacted the very minute that the President ended his press conference. As she did so, Palmer walked back into the O.C. She hung up and headed towards the President. Before she could do so, Rayburn stopped her, and she deduced that he was the one who told Jenny to keep the President away from her. He tried to justify his choice, and told her that it was too late. Lynne thought otherwise. She tried to walk away, but Rayburn held her by the arm and said that she would not want him for an enemy. Palmer noticed the altercation, and asked what was going on. Lynne explained about Jack's call and the threat to CTU. Palmer questioned why CTU had not been contacted, and Rayburn tried to justify himself by saying that the only losses would be "infrastructure and personnel." Palmer said that was unacceptable, and told Lynne to contact CTU. She did so, moments after they had learned of the threat from another source. Tony berated her for not telling them sooner, but she simply said to make sure everyone got out ("10:00am-11:00am").
Rayburn told Palmer that they did everything they could to help CTU. Palmer — still not knowing that Jack had called forty minutes before the attack — wished that Jack had called a few minutes earlier so they could have saved the CTU employees. Rayburn suggests going over his evacuation plan. Palmer told Rayburn that he would call when he was ready to meet about the plan. After the meeting, Lynne approached Rayburn and blamed him for the death of the people at CTU. Rayburn suggested that she could have told the President, but she rebuked that Rayburn had blocked all of her efforts to warn Palmer. Rayburn told her that Lynne had been the one who spoke to Jack, and said that he was protecting the President. He left, leaving Lynne under the impression that Rayburn had bribed her to keep quiet about the attack ("11:00am-12:00pm").
Lynne, Palmer, Rayburn, and other officials in the O.C. watched a CNB news report by a field reporter who stated that not much was known about the attack besides that it was on a government building. He said that early speculation suggested towards terrorist involvement. Rayburn used the attack in favour of his evacuation plan, but Lynne said that the evacuation itself would cause panic, which Rayburn listed as one of the things that could be avoided through his strategy. He countered that it could be done in stages discreetly, but Lynne did not understand how they could discreetly move nine million people. Rayburn said that General Preston assured military backing to contain civilian unrest. Lynne reminded everyone that intel suggested the attack would occur on that day, but Rayburn's plan needed a week for evacuation. Rayburn said he could only protect a certain number of people in the timeframe given, and he considered it a "win" if he could get twenty percent of the population out of the city. Lynne argued that they did not even know the location of the bomb, so they did not have a fair location to start the evacuation. Rayburn tried to show ten high probability target areas, but Palmer said that he was uncomfortable with the plan. Rayburn said that it would protect Palmer politically, but Palmer told Rayburn that if the bomb did go off, re-election was not his greatest concern. Palmer announced across the table that until there was good evidence about the location of the bomb, he refused to evacuate the city. He told Lynne to send General Davenlos into his office, and to conference in Ted and Elyse ("11:00am-12:00pm").
Moments later Lynne got a call from Jack Bauer who angrily asked why CTU was not evacuated, despite his call over half an hour before detonation. Lynne said that there were "extenuating circumstances" and that she could not explain in detail the reasons for the detail. Jack said that was not good enough, but Lynne said that she could offer nothing else. Jack blamed her for the death of everyone at CTU who perished in the explosion. Lynne accepted this, and said that Jack was their best chance of stopping the nuke so he should get on with his job. Jack insisted that she should do hers as well ("11:00am-12:00pm").
Lynne took a statement written by Jenny Dodge about the CTU bombing in to Palmer and said that they could look over it after he had a chance to read it. As she was leaving, Palmer asked if she was ever going to tell him that Jack called thirty minutes before the attack on CTU. He said that he was the President, and questioned why she thought he would not find out. He asked her why she did not tell him about the impending attack sooner, and Lynne said that she had tried hard to get the message to him, but he was with the press. He asked why after the attack she did not bring up the fact that she knew half an hour before the attack that it was going to happen. When she did not respond, Palmer realized that Rayburn had intimidated her into not telling Palmer. She offered to resign, but Palmer angrily told her that there was not time to deal with her conscience. He said that he still trusted her, and he wanted to know everything. When Lynne did tell him, Palmer dismissed Rayburn from his post ("11:00am-12:00pm").
Aftermath of Rayburn's dismissal
Palmer was briefed by an officer who suggested several possible targets for the attack: the Port of Los Angeles. As he listed the reasons for his choice, Lynne told Palmer of the arrival of a foreign ambassador, Shareef, and his ranking intelligence officer, Farhad Salim. Palmer requested any new intel regarding Second Wave since the morning. He also questioned where Roger Stanton was, and Lynne said he was being briefed on Rayburn's dismissal. Palmer, Lynne and Stanton met with the ambassador, who wanted a mutual exchange of intelligence; all of America's intel on Second Wave camps operating within the ambassador's country. Stanton said that he did not trust the ambassador and that Palmer should not give up the intel. He reminded Palmer that they country could be supporting Second Wave. Palmer asked for Lynne's opinion; she agreed with Stanton. However, Palmer decided to give the ambassador the information despite Stanton's unhappiness. He told Stanton to monitor how they used the U.S. intel. She later updated him on the ambassador, saying that he had just left the complex in a chopper. Palmer told her to set up a conference call with the Joint Chiefs; he did not think they would be happy about the information exchange. Before she could leave, Stanton came in and showed Palmer a news feed from FOX that chronicled the ambassador's chopper crashing down moments after he left, killing him and Salim. ("12:00pm-1:00pm")
Soon after this Sherry Palmer arrived and confronted Palmer about a supposed military evacuation he had ordered. Palmer excused himself and asked Lynne about the evacuation, which she, as well as Palmer, had no knowledge of. Palmer soon found out that it was Stanton who ordered the evacuation, against Palmer's orders. He recalled the evacuation and went to see Sherry who assured Palmer that she could keep digging to find out more about the threat. Palmer grimly agreed.
Lynne was constantly suspicious of Sherry which led to them arguing several times. As mentioned by Patty Brooks in Day 1, Sherry can be "pretty scary sometimes," and very intimidating. Lynne, however, not easily intimidated by Sherry's antics, held her ground. At 6:00pm, Palmer had Stanton tortured and found out Sherry had been working with him. Even though she claims she did it to help David, he asked her to leave.
Later, Lynne discovered evidence of a secret meeting between the Vice President Jim Prescott and the cabinet. The purpose of the meeting was to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Palmer from the Presidency. Lynne asked for Mike Novick's help in finding out more about the meeting; however, unknown to her, Novick knew about the meeting and was working with Prescott. In order to prevent her from alerting the President, Novick lured her into a maintenance closet on one of the top floors of the building, claiming he would be meeting an informant who could tell them more about the meeting. When they got there, he imprisoned Lynne in the room and had a guard named Jesper Isberg guard the door from the outside to prevent her from escaping. Lynne then hatched an escape plan by starting a fire using a blowtorch she found in one of the closets. When the fire alarm went off, the guard rushed into the room, only to be hit across the head with a fire extinguisher by Lynne. Lynne then ran from the room and began descending the stairs, the guard close behind her. Eventually, the guard caught up to her and grabbed her. She began fighting him, but before long she received a forceful push and fell over the railing and down several flights of stairs.
Soon afterward, Aaron Pierce informed President Palmer and Novick that Lynne had been found injured at the bottom of the stairs and that she was in critical condition; the onsite doctor believed that she had received severe neurological damage. Palmer and Novick rushed to see Lynne and reached her as she was being brought into the ambulance. Novick nervously discouraged Palmer from speaking to Lynne, but he insisted and asked her how this had happened. Lynne attempted to speak to him but was unable; instead, she lifted up her arm and pointed to Novick in a final effort to warn the President. However, before Palmer noticed, Novick cupped his hands around Lynne's and pretended to comfort her. The medical staff then pushed the crying Lynne into the ambulance and departed.
- Lynne Kresge: Please see me if you need anything.
- Sherry Palmer: (laughs) You want me to run everything by you?
- Lynne Kresge: I'm more familiar with the internal politics, I—
- Sherry Palmer: You'll be able to do what, Lynne?
- Lynne Kresge: I am just trying to maintain some form of protocol—
- Sherry Palmer: No, no you're not. You're trying to position yourself between me and David's inner circle because you don't trust me. Instead of talking about protocols, why don't you just say what's on your mind? You don't want me here.
- Lynne Kresge: Mrs. Palmer, I—
- Sherry Palmer: You don't want me here, so let's just quit playing games.
- Lynne Kresge: How dare you speak to me this way. I was appointed by the President of the United States of America because of my qualifications in foreign policy and crisis management, and I don't know what kind of credentials you have that makes you think you can lecture me. Fine, you don't want to play games? I don't like you. And I don't like you being here.
- Sherry Palmer: Well, now we're communicating. ("Day 2: 8:00pm-9:00pm")
Background information and notes
- The writers originally intended that Lynne would die from the fall she suffered. However, as her death was never confirmed on screen, her fate remains officially unknown.
- Executive producer Jon Cassar listed Lynne Kresge as a character that could 'potentially return' along with Teddy Hanlin, Alexander Trepkos, Carl Webb, and Behrooz Araz, in a Feb. 12, 2007 TV Guide interview with Bill Hochman. To date, none of these characters have reappeared.
- It is also unknown if Mike Novick faced justice for ordering Jesper Isberg to unlawfully incarcerate Lynne, which resulted in her fall. Novick reappeared during Season 4 as a highly-placed political advisor to Vice President Charles Logan, and nothing was mentioned about Lynne Kresge. As such, it is arguably most plausible that Lynne either died, remained comatose, suffered permanent memory loss, or was otherwise unwilling to incriminate Novick. However, if Lynne did survive the fall and did successfully incriminate Novick after Day 2, he would have completed whatever his criminal sentence sometime before Day 4.
- In the DVD commentary of episode four, Michelle Forbes mentions her character's position is "Special Assistant to the President."